Latin America slams Bolivian president’s resignation


Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico decried the resignation Sunday of embattled Bolivian President Evo Morales shortly after the head of the military urged him to step down, labeling the process a “coup”.

In a post on Twitter, Argentine president-elect Alberto Fernandez, who will assume power in December, said a “coup” was staged in Bolivia due to violent protests by civilians, the negligence of the police force and unresponsiveness of the army.

Fernandez criticized the process that led to Morales’ resignation and called on Bolivia to side with democracy.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged all social and political groups across the globe to protest the Bolivian military’s action.

Speaking on Twitter, Maduro said he condemned the “coup” against Morales and said people in Venezuela would hold protests to defend the rights of the indigenous people of Bolivia, who were “victims” of racism.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez said the rightists in Bolivia attacked democracy with a violent and cowardly “coup” and that he stood with Morales, calling on the international community to mobilize for Morales’ freedom.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his country would maintain its position of respect for democracy and rejected the ongoing military operation in Bolivia.

“No to coup,” he added.

Ebrard said his country would offer asylum to Morales, adding 20 Bolivian officials from the executive and legislative branches were being “hosted” at Mexico’s embassy in La Paz city, Bolivia.

In a statement Sunday, Morales said he resigned to prevent possible harm to the opposition and Bolivian people and underlined that he did not have any reason to flee the country.

Stressing that he would continue fighting for peace and equality, he said: “This doesn’t end here.”

Morales said he ruled the country for over 13 years and those who lost against him in elections accused him of dictatorship.

Bolivia has been mired in political unrest following alleged irregularities in presidential elections held Oct. 20 in which international monitoring organizations claimed to have found the manipulation of the voting system.

Morales received 47.8% of the vote and secured victory in the first round of the polls.

Carlos Mesa, leader of the main opposition Revolutionary Left Front party, said he would not recognize Morales’ victory, claiming there was “fraud” in the vote count.

Morales has been president since 2006.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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